After a while the three kids returned. One was silent; possibly pondering homework on Christmas. The other two were in a heated argument. One was shouting that Mrs. Obama had banned deserts. He insisted she should be blasted into space and also the president should have ketchup thrown on his head. The other responded; “you can’t say that about the president.”
A pitch over home plate cannot be ignored.
“Gentlemen!” I interjected. All three stopped; eager to see what stupid thing I was about to say. This was going to be awesome.
“Did I hear one of you declare what one can and cannot say about the president?” I asked gravely. “That is absolutely not true. This isn’t Russia.”
The kids looked blank. Whoops; I forget. Russia isn’t what it used to be. This launched an internal monologue:
Remember the old days when Russia was the indisputable demonstration of socialist totalitarian evil? A source of James Bond villains, guys to fight Rocky, and nincompoop spies who try to blow up flying squirrels? This shared cultural reference kept our National mind out of the gutter. It seemed silly to flush our thriving capitalist economy down the crapper when Russia was intent on vaporizing Baltimore.
Remember Nikita Khrushchev pounding tables with his shoe and shouting that some schmuck in the UN is “a jerk, a stooge, and a lackey” and a “toady of American imperialism”? They just don’t make them like that anymore. It gave a clarity to things. (Vladimir Putin tries. He’s practically Darth Vader. But Russia no longer resembles Modor so he can’t carry on the full tradition. Give the guy a break.)
Now it’s different. America is actively trying to emulate the EU while it burns. Were modeling our economy after a place that formerly had shortages of toilet paper. Even the Chinese embraced capitalism. Now those bastards own us! How did we become the jockey that won the horse race and decided to kneecap his mount?
Back on track I continued. “It is long standing tradition that Americans do indeed insult their president. We do it often and loudly. It is not only your right, but your duty to trash this and all future presidents.” I paused to let that sink in and then started the rest of the sermon. “For example, I am not only free to assert that Obama is a clueless moron and Romney is a pencil necked geek but it’s the right thing to do.”
The kids smiled. I had a true teachable moment on my hands.
“Some of the insults are traditional, like calling Romney a ‘pinhead’ or Obama a ‘wanker’. But it’s best if you can come up with something unique. Homer Simpson said…” The kids nodded. They didn’t know Russia but they knew Homer. “…he said that the French were ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys’. That was superb. You should aspire to that kind of insult.”
“However, Mrs. Obama, is not an elected official. The first lady is just someone who hangs around without a day job. I’ll admit she’s got some good qualities. She’s got huge biceps and looks like she could bite a cinder block in half. They should turn her loose on Vladimir Putin with a bull whip and a blowtorch. But she’s not really in the government at all. She’s more like the government’s groupie. She didn’t win an election so she’s irrelevant and pointless.” The kids smiled.
“The school lunch tragedy,” I emphasized this last word, “is a result of the entire Federal Government’s bad behavior. Its is not just because the First Lady is selfish and wants all the cookies for herself.” The kids had never thought of this. I could see it on their faces. What had she done with all the cookies? There must be a warehouse full of them somewhere? They would never forgive her now!
I continued. “So if I wish to call the first lady a ‘monster that hates children’ or even ‘scarier that a bout of the plague’ that simply isn’t factual.” Though it sure was fun!
Mrs. Curmudgeon was desperate to get me out of the building.
“The bureaucracy is at fault. So you should save your anger for bureaucrats.”
The kids blinked. How can you dump ketchup on a bureaucracy? Undeterred I kept going with the civics lesson.
“So here are some choice words you might want to remember…”
Mrs. Curmudgeon, gave certain visual clues to indicate she would murder me if I continued. I stopped. Sorry kids, the lesson had been canceled.
“Well I suppose that’s something you’ll have to figure out yourself.” The kids looked disappointed.
I couldn’t help skate a little further.
“Look in the dictionary. That’s the printed thing that happened before wikipedia. It’s in your school library.” They nodded, apparently the kids knew what ‘library’ and ‘dictionary’ meant. Excellent! There was still hope!
“Look through the dictionary for quality insults. Really go for it. Calling someone a ‘jerk’ lacks style.” The kids nodded. This was a new concept but they got the idea. “Put in some effort and go for a really big word or even a whole phrase. That confuses stupid people. If you’re lucky they’ll confuse your teachers too! Don’t forget that insulting politicians is your civic duty.”
The kids agreed that this was a good idea. Then one kicked the other in the shin and chaos broke out again. The moment was over.
I was proud. I’d done my part for America. I had helped pass wisdom on to the next generation. As to the debate, even Mrs. Curmudgeon got bored and we left. As far as I could tell, the only people still watching were three guys paying Pokemon. Remember this on election day; dorks playing Pokemon.
And that, folks, is as true as anything you’ll hear on CNN.